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A few months ago I talked to someone that told me that Amano uses a ton of shrimp in the first few weeks of the tank set up. The number was at least 3 shrimp per gallon. I can't say if that is a fact or not. Just talked to someone that claimed they knew.

Without praising Amano, such an approach does seem a good idea for the first few weeks of the tank set up. It's more of a prevention measure until the plants start to grow well. There aren't any similar prevention steps that I know of that we, in the US, use.

As probably most of us here I too look for a bullet proof way to start and maintain a sparkling clean tank :D, so...

A few days ago I overstocked a newly set up 55 gal. tank with otos - a total of 20 otos and 15 cherry red shrimp. That isn't even near to the shrimp stocking level that I described above but it is pretty heavy.

I did notice a considerable reduction and thinning of the 3 sq. inches of very short hair algae that were growing on a rock. The few long strands of hair algae that I saw disappeared within a day.

It is hard for me to say if the otos/shrimp are helping with the long hair algae strands, but they definitely do help with the short ones.

(The tank has very much perfect water parameters (CO2=30, N/P=5/.25, heavy Fe/Traces/Ca addtions) and only 2 wpg of light. The Cladophora that is starting to appear in this tank seems to grow slower than usual.)

What do you think about overstocking the tank with the "cleaning crew" animals in the first few weeks until the plants take hold?

--Nikolay
 

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niko said:
A few months ago I talked to someone that told me that Amano uses a ton of shrimp in the first few weeks of the tank set up. The number was at least 3 shrimp per gallon.
What do you think about overstocking the tank with the "cleaning crew" animals in the first few weeks until the plants take hold?
Nikolay,
I was watching AGA tape from AGA'01 and enjoyed Amano's work on 75gallon he aquascaped in TN. One of the questions was:

How many Otocinclus cats would you use in this 75gallon setup ??

He responded: Around 50 or more

Sounds like he is using generous amount.
 

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I have about 20 Otto's, and around 20-30 Amano shrimps in my tank (450l), and I plane to get more. The shrimps I'm not so sure about, since they only stay in one corner during the day. But man oh man do my otto's have some mighty big tummy's! So, I plane to get another ten for starters. I also have 5 SAE's BTW.
 

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What Amano does is during the first or second week of setting up. He deliberately keep the algae which has grown to absorb excess nutrients. After which when the plants have acclimatised and putting out new shoots and out-competing the algae, he would release alot of shrimps into the tank to consume the algae. When the algae is gone and plants flourish, he would remove most of the shrimps to prevent them eating the plants. Otocinclus are usually there from the start.

From my experience, Yamatos hiding in the day usually means unideal water conditions or presence of potential predators. A scene of active and unshy Yamatos is more attractive for me.
 
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